Mawlynnong: A Picture Perfect Example for Swachh Bharat Abhiyan!
When Prime Ministre Narendra Modi launched out Swachh Bharat Abhiyan in 2014, he might as well have been inspired by the beauty & cleanliness of a post card destination – Mawlynnong! Don’t be fooled by the name as Mawlynnong is very much situated in Indian Territory of Meghalaya.
This picture perfect destination is tucked away in the heartlands of the splendid North East. Situated on India-Bangladesh border, Mawlynnong is a mere 190 Km drive from Guwahati.
But what sets this place apart is that this small village has made India proud on an international front. In 2003, it was awarded the “Cleanest Village in Asia” tag by the Discover India magazine.
Mawlynnong with its picture postcard thatched roof Bamboo huts built around winding roads full of trees & shrubs adorning the sides is like a breath of fresh air for those coming from the ever-so-busy city life. You can relax in the Bamboo houses or enjoy your evenings walking these magnificent & spotlessly clean roads.
This Utopian village is also famous for its Living Root Bridges which are basically roots of giant trees like rubber or ficus which have been interwoven by the locals to help cross a stream or small rivulet. Once fashioned, these roots themselves take up the rest of the work & help build stronger bridges, while still supporting the tall trees above. What a wonderful & Eco-friendly way to do away with the tar & cement or concrete!
Another tourist attraction in Mawlynnong is the Sky View Tower which has been completely built out of the versatile Bamboo. The tower is 85 feet high & offer excellent views of not just the village but also border villages in Bangladesh.
Needless to say, Mawlynnong enjoys mesmerizing views of nature at its best. This is also attributed to the responsible citizens & village dwellers who donate their sweat to keep the surroundings clean & naturally resplendent. A practical way of tackling garbage disposal on streets is seen here when you see Bamboo baskets hung near gates of every house on the street. The collected garbage is dumped in a compost pit & then used as manure.
The East Khasi hilly area of which Mawlynnong is a part is traditionally a matriarchal society in which the property passes down from mother to her daughters. It is thus no wonder that the property is well taken care of along with a responsibility towards its surroundings. A community volunteering activity makes it mandatory for all citizens to donate their sweat to keep the community clean.
In this Eco-friendly station, use of polythene bags is prohibited. They are even mature enough to clean the garbage & waste which tourists who come visiting make, without any negative feelings. Thus, the want of cleanliness comes from people’s way of life & not because they have been told to do so. Rainwater harvesting is another initiative which is largely adopted.
The government should try to implement “Mawlynnong model” in as many villages as possible across India. Not just villages, the city dwellers also should be made responsible for caring for their surroundings.
With the launch of Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, we are on the right track. But change should be heartfelt only then the actions would speak more than words.
This tiny village has so much to offer in terms of enjoying the simple pleasures of life by keeping your surroundings clean, caring for the wildlife & nature, adopting Eco-friendly ways of achieving our means. Since there are no hotels here, we can enjoy the pleasures of nearby farm stays to experience the local’s simple lifestyle & learn a great deal about heartfelt community service.
Tags: Best Nonprofit Blog, Clean India Volunteers, Cleanest Village in Asia, Community Service Ideas, Eco-friendly Activity, Eco-friendly Ways of Life, Give Back To Society, Inspirational Volunteer Stories, Mawlynnong, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan